The Laws of Elul and Selichot

An explanation of the meaning and the laws of the month of Elul and Slichot.

The Yeshiva Website
When & do we recite Selichot prayers?

There are different customs for saying the Selichot prayers, a Minhag initiated by King David as a way of confessing our sins prior to asking Hashem for forgiveness. Sefardim began to say Slichot each morning in Elul, just as the Shofar is sounded each day. Ashkenazim begin S'lichot on the Saturday night before Rosh Hashana (that is, this Sat. night) so long as there are at least 4 days before the Chag (just as a korban was prepared 4 days before its offering, so do we prepare ourselves). (Rabbi Stewart Weiss)

Does one 
put on my tallit and tefillin before Selichot?

It is not important to have tallit and tefillin on during Selichot. However, there is some value in putting them on before Selichot. Therefore, whatever works practically for a person (including time and concentration considerations) is fine. (Rabbi Daniel Mann)

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